Maryland, possibly Anne Arundel County, 1770-1800
Tulip poplar and oak
Catalog no. 45
Boldly proportioned and rooted in ancient woodworking traditions, this Maryland chair has a long history at Traveler's Rest, the eighteenth-century plantation home of Philip Hammond near Annapolis. The chair is markedly different from most eighteenth-century American seating furniture. The form closely resembles low-seated chairs and stools from rural England, Ireland, and especially Wales. It is a reminder that settlers came not just from London but from all parts of the British Isles.
Welsh chairs of this form typically were used forcooking and other hearth-oriented activities. Their low stance placed the sitter near the fire where most hearth cooking was done, and three rather than four legs provided stability on uneven brick or earthen floors. The Maryland chair, which has a strong tradition in the Traveler's Rest kitchen, likely functioned that way.